Summers 2D

Jane Summers smiled contentedly, although briefly, at Gary’s response, before turning in her seat towards Scott. Forehead pointed in the younger man’s direction, she extended her arms shoulder width, fingers pointed in Scott’s direction, the intensity of the stare from behind her glasses causing him to lean back reflexively. She spoke in the voice of an interrogator.

“You know me when I’m off the deep end.  You’ve said before that you could always tell just by looking at me when you’d have to walk carefully around me.”

Scott swallowed. “Yes.” He pointed up at his face. “Your eyes, they give it away every time.”

“Scott . . . look at me.” Her left hand shot back to her face, removed her glasses, threw them on Gary’s desk, the pointed at her face. “At my eyes. Tell me . . . honestly. Scott, I know — at least I think I know, if you’re still the same person I knew yesterday — that you’ll tell it to me straight. And right now, that’s what I really need, more than anything else in the world.”

Scott sat silently, his face a mishmash of confusion, anxiety, and just a dash of fear. Jane leaned forward. “Scott . . . my eyes. Tell me — what do you see?

Scott blinked, shook his head. “No. This isn’t one of those times.”

Jane Summers lowered her hands to her lap as she exhaled and leaned back in her chair. “Thank — thank you.” She looked at Gary. “Both of you. There’s nobody who’s opinion I respect more than you two, and because of what’s happened this morning, I just needed to know — to know that I was in my right mind. Because there’s been times this morning that I wondered if I had suddenly gone nuts, kind of like when I get in one my moods, like you guys have been telling me.”

She rose from her chair, brought her hands to her temples, began pacing around the room. “But this time was different, is different. Because even when I’ve gone off the deep end in the past, there was always a part of me that knew I wasn’t thinking right, was whispering to me to calm down. Problem was, I’d be too deep in whatever emotion I was feeling to listen to anyone, even my own voice of reason. But that voice — it was always there.”

She stopped herself, realized she was standing next to Gary, his broad round face looking up at her. She placed a hand on his shoulder. “This time it’s different — I’m not hearing that voice, warning me that I’m not thinking straight. Even though this time I’m trying to convince myself that I’ve lost it. I’ve been searching myself all morning, asking myself Is this me speaking? And yes, it is . . . it’s me. No matter how weird I’m feeling right now . . . this is me.”

His eyes still locked on hers, Gary reached up a hand, grasped Jane’s firmly. He looked quickly at his desk, retrieved Jane’s glasses, held them up to her. “I think you need to tell us why you’re feeling so weird.”

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